BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:45 A.M.) – The Turkish military will not withdrawal from any observation posts, despite being encircled by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the Idlib Governorate, the Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar said on Sunday.
“In no way will we evacuate 12 observation points heroically carrying out their mission of ensuring the cease-fire; we are not going to leave,” Akar told army commanders in the Hatay Province.
Akar’s comments came just days after the Syrian Arab Army encircled their observation post in the town of Al-Sarman, which is located in the Ma’arat Al-Nu’man District of southeastern Idlib.
Akar said the troops at these observation points have been ordered to respond without hesitation if they are attacked or harassed.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The agreement between Russia and Turkey was reaffirmed in October after Ankara launched a large-scale military operation in northeastern Syria.